One reason I deleted Facebook is, it's nice to think your significant other vanishes for the period of separation. They don't go to friends' weddings in Toronto, take a creative writing class, go bowling on Saturdays or move into a new apartment. They are just poof, gone, nothing changes and things remain the same. When I talk to Josh on the phone, we are usually in a fit of laughter like old times. You'd think I had only been gone for the weekend.
And as Josh says, "a year isn't a long time once it's over." Of course I'm entirely hypocritical. This blog must be killer for him. I post piles of photos of me mountain climbing with Min, having dinner with Hwan, playing pool with Tae Hun. Why I don't have more female Korean friends is beyond me. I want them! I have the strongest desire to sit on a patio across from a girlfriend, talking and people watching.
When Josh went to Israel last summer I was like, for heavens sakes, why does his closest travel companion have to be a girl in a little white tank top. She had a shaved head and was hot. It was horrible. She had a boyfriend but it was little consolation.
Tae Hun calls me "tomboy" and (casually pushing my lip gloss out of view) I guess I am, compared to most Korean girls. But it's no excuse, really.
This post was inspired by a recent e-mail. Western girls moving to Korea write to ask what they should pack, ie. bed sheets? deodorant? tampons? But this girl asked how I was maintaining my relationship! She's leaving a boyfriend behind and wants to know what the chances are of making it work.
I told her existing problems will surface. Long distance is no fun fair. But if it's meant to last, you'll develop a deep appreciation for them, and the ways they contribute to your life. Enough sap.
TOP 5 WAYS to "do long distance"
5. Talk on the phone regularly, but not too often- once or twice a week just so you don't have to do one of those big, annoying catch-ups.
4. Create a joint project like a website that allows you to work on/ discuss something unrelated to your separate lives.
3. Make sure you have something to look forward to. J and I are going on vacation somewhere hot and sunny, in November, when my contract is over.
2. Do sweet things for each other. I made him a slide show set to one of his favorite songs. He commissioned paintings from my Mom.
1. Confide in each other in an honest way that makes you feel close.
Lastly, don't sweat the small stuff. Enjoy life where you are because life's too short short. Josh says he's strangely confident when people ask him if we can last the year, and I feel the same way. After all we've been through, I'm sure of it.